Subscribe Now »

Special Cyber Monday Deal

Give the Gift of the

Take advantage of our Cyber Monday deal and get the Washingtonian for just $12. That's 87% off our newsstand rate! Digital subscriptions are just $5.99!

Gom Ba Woo
A Korean place with one of the best kimchees in town.
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Cynthia Hacinli
Comments () | Published October 16, 2006
Cheap Eats 2012 Cheap Eats 2010 Cheap Eats 2011

Gom Ba Woo
Address: 7133 Columbia Pike, Annandale, VA 22003
Phone: 703-642-1577
Neighborhood: Annandale
Cuisines: Korean
Opening Hours: Open Monday through Friday 7 AM to 11 PM and Sunday 7 AM to 10 PM.
Kid Friendly: Yes
Nearby Metro Stops: Van Dorn St., Dunn Loring-Merrifield
Price Range: Moderate
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: Intimate
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Steamed dumplings (mandu); seafood pancake; oxtail with green onions; pork-belly barbecue; soondubu; sul leung tang; grilled short ribs; pork with red-pepper sauce.
Price Details: Appetizers $8.95 to $12.95; entrées $7.95 to $27.95.
Special Features:
Kid Friendly

From June 2006 Cheap Eats

Kimchee is, at best, an acquired pleasure for most Westerners. A staple of the Korean diet, the cold pickled-cabbage dish is for many too fiery, too tart, and often too limp. The version at this cozy, blond-wooded lair in a shopping center in Annandale's Little Korea has the power to alter perceptions. The cabbage is firm, the pickling is light and fresh, and the thick red-chili paste it's bathed in has an insinuating heat that encourages you to keep eating.

Most of the cooking follows in this appealing way, from the panchan (the mouth-awakening snacks that inaugurate every meal) to such meals in a bowl as a pot of oxtail with green onions, whose gelatinous textures may take some getting used to but which is soothing pleasure.

Lots of Korean restaurants offer barbecue; this one goes beyond the novelty of DIY tabletop cooking. The grilling is done in the kitchen, and the meats that emerge, from the luscious short ribs to the sumptuous pork belly (the menu lists it as pork with red-pepper sauce), are succulent and full of wonderful char. Rolled up in a lettuce leaf with a spoonful of steamed rice and a dollop of house-made bean paste, they reach a new level of interest. The staff--as solicitous and warm as can be despite the language barrier--will help you through these and other intricacies.
Subscribe to Washingtonian
Posted at 07:56 PM/ET, 10/16/2006 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews